The growing number of female entrepreneurs is being reflected in their representation in the ranks of the self employed. According to Towergate, the last eight years have seen a significant increase in the number of women in self-employment – rising by approximately 40% (or 427,000). By comparison the number of men in self-employment only rose by 13% (or 358,000) over the same period.
As a result, the insurance company says that women now account for nearly a third (32%) of all self-employment compared with 28 per cent of self-employment before the recession and according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, (BIS) in 2014 20% of single person businesses were owned and run by women, which in total equates to around 1.1 million SMEs. Business at least partially led by women accounted for 38% of all SMEs in 2014, around two million SMEs.
‘Women are in the driving seat’
That trend is reflected by the fact that over a quarter (28%) of SME insurance policyholders are now women and over the last twelve months the most common sector for new business policies was in retail.
“Over the past few years we’ve witnessed huge increases in women taking the plunge and starting their own businesses,” said Annie Plaskett from Towergate. “Small businesses are the engine of the UK economy and with the growth of female led SMEs outstripping those by men it’s clear it’s women who are in the driving seat. At Towergate, we are keen to encourage aspiring female business owners across the country to take even a seed of an idea and turn it into a viable and profitable business proposition.”